Victory Lap Road Trippin: Part 1 – Chattanooga/Birmingham

“Happiness is a road trip.” – Unknown

I kicked off a road trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Memorial Day weekend not only because I had the availability and decided to take advantage since the last trip I took was exactly a year prior but also as a victory to kicking breast cancer’s ass this year. So I thought I’d share my where-to-go-in-Chattanooga suggestions for what it’s worth. Read on and enjoy the slide show gallery of pics I took while there.

Go to Chattanooga Market for unique finds from food to jelly to jewelry to candles. Then, have lunch from one of the featured food trucks onsite. I got mine from Chatter Box 423 BBQ where the apple slaw (and I’m not a slaw person) and pulled pork was the perfect option for a hot day at a street market along with a Coconut Lemonade slushy from Miller’s Original. I’m a lemonade lover, and with the coconut, oh, it was so so good!!

⁃ Stay at the Westin Chattanooga in the West Village section of downtown. Such an excellent location with restaurants and little boutiques are not too far from The Warehouse Row, which has restaurants and shops and an easy but good walk to the Tennessee Aquarium adjacent to the Tennessee River. At the Westin, you can grab a drink and hang it on their patio or eat inside at the Marketplace, which I did for breakfast. The Westin has everything. Plus a couple of onsite restaurants and a rooftop pool.

⁃ Take a walk through downtown; it’s a straight shot to the Tennessee River. Walk along the river bank or sit and bask in the sun for a bit. Make sure you walk on Walnut Street Bridge as well.

⁃ Eat at City Cafe, an unpretentious, reasonably priced diner in downtown Chattanooga with good service where I saw folks having beers for breakfast. It has a good size menu and divine dessert selection, which, oddly enough, I didn’t partake. Instead, I had the Classic Eggs Benedict with grits while there.

“Fifty years from now, when you’re looking back at your life, don’t you want to be able to say you had the guts to get in the car?” – Transformers

⁃ Check out the Tennessee Aquarium, of course. I’m not an aquarium person, but this one is worth it to go and experience. I love that it’s set up with bringing the outside indoors, where the roof is open to the sky yet just enough inside that you stay cool. It’s pretty big too with displays in two separate buildings.

⁃ Go on the Chattanooga Whiskey tour with Taylor as your guide and a whiskey flight tasting with the bartender Ethan. I wanted to like the whiskey, but I’m just not into dark liquor, but I enjoyed the background history, the tour, and the tasting—a nice outing to do before dinner at one of the nearby restaurants. 

⁃ While being in Chattanooga, I decided before going back to Atlanta to make a beeline toward Birmingham, Alabama. Being from California, I want to take in the South as much as I can post-pandemic. 

If you love shopping, I recommend a trip to The Summit, an upscale shopping center set up for walking outdoors. It was right up my alley, all the stores I love and a restaurant, North Italia, I’ve wanted to try after moving from San Diego soon after it opened there. They recently opened at The Summit. I had the Bolognese one of their most popular dishes, along with a Sicilian margarita; I had two! Then I walked to the stores, which this shopping center is enormous by the way. I purchased a few things, of course! I left the following day, so, unfortunately, I didn’t see too much more of Birmingham other than getting gas and Target stop before heading home. I plan to make it back soon!

So there you have it! Suggestions for you from my victory lap road trip! 

I’ll document more trips, but please share any road trip suggestions, and I’ll add them to my bucket list. 

“Making memories one road trip at at time.” – Unknown

I am living my best southern life!

XO, Lysandra Joy